On the record

 

JIM CARROLLon music

Best reason for a gig cancellation in 2010:KRS-One’s Dublin show yanked due to “Puretone-related madness”.

The new unforeseen circumstances of the year:Downsizing your gig to a smaller venue and hoping no one notices (see A Flock of Seagulls, En Vogue, Yeasayer, Arrested Development).

Catchphrase of the year:A tie between “tell that cat to chill” (Prince to MCD’s Denis Desmond) and “I’ve a horse outside” (Rubberbandits to the world at large).

Right hook of the year:Axl Rose.

King Canutes of the year:Eircom’s three-strikes campaign against illegal music downloading.

Promoter of the year:Rockefeller Productions.

Trooper of the year:Whitney Houston, who didn’t let a pesky volcano put her off entertaining her Irish fans. Many of those Irish fans, though, would prefer their money back.

Birds of the year:The pigeons who pooed on Kings of Leon during a gig in St Louis.

WTF of the year:The brouhaha between the Irish Music Rights Organisation and a bunch of Irish music bloggers when the former tried to get the latter to pay a licence fee

Aul’ fella of the year:John Lydon for his anti-internet rant

Hash tag of the year:#bandtips

Reviewer of the year:Ed Power, who slated the Gorillaz gig in his review for the Telegraph, but gave the exact same show a rave review in the Irish Examiner

€900 saving of the year:The Dancing About Architecture music journalism course.

The “what are you still doing here?” one-way ticket of the year:Crystal Swing.

New music

STARLINGS

Wide-eyed Sheffield-born mob in thrall to everything from Balearic new gold dreams to electronic pop pomp get proceedings underway with the Richard Norris-produced Weight In Gold single. Time for a Steel City revival? myspace.com/ starlingsmusic

BECOMING REAL

London post-dubstep producer Toby Ridler has come on the radar with remixes such as Jamie Woon’s Night Air, but his own glitchy, warped, mutant beats (see the Spectre EP or South London Congo on his Bandcamp page) are well worth investigating. myspace.com/ becomingrealmusic

NO JOY

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino descibed No Joy as “two hot blonde girls just shredding away – sooooo amazing”, so that will probably do for many. From Montreal and based in Los Angeles, No Joy’s Ghost Blonde album is out now on Mexican Summer. For fans of fuzzy, swirly sonic bliss. myspace.com/nojoy

Now playing

Zooey Deschanel Leon Redbone Baby It’s Cold Outside(Watertower Music) From the Elfsoundtrack – the moment people realised that Zooey Deschanel had a pretty special voice.

Johnny Cash The Little Drummer Boy(Sony) The Man in Black recorded several Christmas albums, and this version is probably the pick of the bunch.

Tom Waits Christmas Card from a Hookerin Minneapolis (Asylum) From 1978’s Blue Valentine, the most unlikely Yuletide tune of all time. A bittersweet bar-room ballad reeking of cheap whiskey and lost opportunities.

Lord Beginner Christmas Morning the Rum Had Me Yawning(Big Eye) Have a happy calypso Christmas with Trinidadian maestro Egbert Moore.

Various A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector(Abkco) Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals and Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans stick some tinsel on the wall of sound.